Torvald’s constant attempts to uphold himself in society make him immune to the real needs of Nora, and susceptible only to the shallow sides of her, (her beauty and token affection). And Nora herself was trying to be who she wasn’t by always being complicit to Torvald, all of which created a marriage based on false feeling and oppression. The passing of time is also important here. “Wuthering Heights” spans fifty years, whereas events in “A Doll’s House” happen over a period of around 60 hours. Although these are drastically different, in both there is a dramatic change of character. Nora’s change comes in a matter of days, but the change seen in “Wuthering Heights” is from one generation to the next, represented by the difference in relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff, and the young Cathy and Hareton.
It is important when talking about physical setting to mention boundaries, and the differences between them. In “A Doll’s House” the boundaries are very obvious, the isolation of the position of the house and prefab house
, although it is seemingly her choice, the expectation that Nora should not have any need to leave the house. As well as these, there are the physical boundaries of the office and the letterbox. Such boundaries are a reflection of behavioral boundaries in the house. Nora is forbidden access to the letterbox as Torvald holds the key (another phallic image of his masculine superiority) and she is seemingly not allowed into the office as she is forced to “…listen at her husband’s door.” These restricted areas run parallel to the restrictions that Nora is subject to.
However we see this starting to unravel when she dances the “Tarantella”. It is significant firstly because it is a tool of defiance towards Torvald-she is attempting to stop him from going to the letterbox by dancing wildly. Secondly the symbolism of this wild dancing and her hair becoming loose is important. It is the breaking of a boundary of propriety. She is doing something in opposition to the Victorian expectations placed on women; she is letting herself go, letting her hair become wild and doing something totally against the norm. Importantly, Torvald is horrified, saying, “This is sheer lunacy. Stop it, I say!” she has broken a boundary set out by his controlling actions towards her, and as soon as he feels he is losing control of her he becomes agitated. Thrushcross Grange in “Wuthering Heights” also has clear boundaries; it has a surrounding wall and is enclosed by the landscape.